The sun was just coming up as we hit the snow-covered roads, with temperatures barely reaching freezing. The brutal winds didn't give us much hope of finding more than an empty parking lot with a few loyal patrons waiting to hit the trails. We reached the top of the hill heading into Paragon Adventure Park in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, expecting to see nothing. Instead, we found a crowded parking lot and a huge line of people waiting to get inside and sign up for what was feared to be the park's final weekend.
Paragon Adventure Park, also known as PAP, is one of the largest adventure parks on the East Coast, and people drive hundreds-if not thousands-of miles every year just to wheel its incredible trails. The owners, Kyle and Stephanie Knosp, were just three years into a 25-year lease when they were informed that the property would be going up for sale for a proposed cargo airport. They are currently in a legal dispute with the landowner over the lease agreement.
More than 700 people in 500 vehicles came to the park to show their support in hopes of saving Paragon. We met people who traveled from as far away as Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Canada, and they were all there with two words on their minds, "save Paragon."
After all the vehicles went through the mandatory inspection-checking that the battery was mounted properly, making sure the hood is secure, and ensuring seatbelts were present for all passengers-they headed to the staging area where everyone lined up for one of the many organized runs that included a huge raffle with tons of prizes donated by several off-road companies. A little frostbite was well worth the great prizes people walked away with.